Fri, Jul 3rd 2020 07:00 am
Fourth of July celebrations pose risk of injuries and fires
Guest Editorial by American Medical Response
For many, the Fourth of July presents an opportunity to gather with loved ones to celebrate our nation's independence with food, fun and fireworks. While this year's holiday will look different due to social distancing and state limitations on gatherings, AMR still wants to remind residents of Western New York of the importance of holiday safety.
"Fourth of July brings a lot of fun and enjoyment, from outdoor grilling and water activities to fireworks displays and celebratory parades," said Tim Frost, regional director of AMR Western New York. "No matter your family's plans, it is essential to make sure everyone stays safe during this year's festivities."
If the use of personal fireworks is permitted in your area, observe these safety tips:
- Follow all instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby as a precaution.
- Wear eye protection.
- Never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Ignite only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight duds.
- Do not aim, throw or point fireworks at people, animals, vehicles or structures.
- Never give children fireworks.
- Make sure to store perishable foods at the proper temperature until you are ready to begin cooking.
- If using a cooler, make sure you pack plenty of ice or freezer packs.
- Never leave a barbecue unattended while lit.
- Select a location away from children, pets or flammable objects.
- Keep the grill clean by removing excess grease and residue.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
- Use long-handled tongs and spatulas with heat-resistant handles.
- Exposure to excessive heat can quickly lead to dehydration. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoid beverages with caffeine, sugar or alcohol.
- During the hottest hours of the day, stay indoors. If your home is not air-conditioned, look for nearby cooling shelters, or spend the day in a cool public space like a library, community center or local shopping mall.
- Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and don a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin and be sure to reapply it every two hours.
- Try to limit physical activities to the coolest parts of the day, like morning and evening hours. Make sure to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
- Do not leave children, elderly persons, or pets in cars. In under three minutes, the interior temperature of your vehicle can soar from 78 to 100 degrees, putting children, the elderly and pets in danger of hyperthermia or heat stroke. If you see a child, an older adult, or an animal left in a hot car, call 911 immediately.
- Never swim alone.
- Only use approved flotation devices; do not rely on toys or inner tubes.
- Don't take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
- Swim only in designated swimming areas.
- Watch small children near water.
- Never dive into rivers or lakes; each year nearly 3,000 people are paralyzed as a result of diving into shallow water or hitting an unseen underwater obstruction.
AMR is committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities it serves. Our caregivers promote safety and preparedness to save lives and prevent both injury and disability.
For more holiday safety tips, visit www.RedCross.org.
About Global Medical Response
With more than 38,000 employees, Global Medical Response delivers compassionate, quality medical care, primarily in the areas of emergency and patient relocation services in the U.S. and around the world. GMR was formed by combining the industry leaders in air, ground, managed medical transportation, and community, industrial/specialty and wildland fire services. Each of our companies has a long history of proudly serving the communities where we live: American Medical Response (AMR), Rural Metro Fire, Air Evac Lifeteam, REACH Air Medical Services, Guardian Flight, Med-Trans Corporation and AirMed International. For additional information, visit us on LinkedIn or at www.GlobalMedicalResponse.com.
Niagara Frontier Publications makes no assurances as to the claims listed above. Please consult with your medical professional/doctor and emergency service providers such as the police and fire departments.